Partners in eco-tech crime, BMW and Toyota inked an agreement today to continue working together on fuel cells, electric powertrains, lightweight components, and “a future sports vehicle.”
The companies signed a deal that locks them into long-term collaboration, hopefully ending with a new sports car on the market.
Toyota Motor president Akio Toyoda said in a statement that he believes BMW’s strength is in developing sports cars, adding that he is “excited to think of the cars that will result from this relationship.”
Today’s agreement comes days after BMW and General Motors ended discussions to partner on fuel cells, Bloomberg reported. The companies are still in talks for other business ventures, a BMW spokesman told Bloomberg.
Instead, the Munich-based carmaker decided to expand its cooperation with Toyota. In March, the companies both signed up to collaboratively research next-generation lithium-ion battery cells, a press release said.
“We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies,” BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer said in a statement.
The companies initiated a partnership in December, which allows Toyota to access BMW’s small diesel engines for sale in its European line beginning in 2014, while BMW can borrow some of Toyota’s hybrid technologies.
“BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars,” Toyota said. “We respect each other. And I think this is shown by our taking the next step only six months since the signing of our initial agreement.”
Both companies have been individually working to expand their green automotive practices. Late last year, Toyota unveiled a plug-in version of its successful Prius hybrid, after BMW revealed fully electric and hybrid electric cars, expected to be available in the next few years.
“Toyota and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility, Reithofer said. “Together we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation.”
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